Top German Spy Loses Job after Clashing with Merkel

Hans-Georg Maassen cast doubt on reports of neo Nazis attacking immigrants

The centre-left Social Democrats and some in Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party had been calling for Maassen to be fired for playing down recent far-right violence in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

For a senior civil servant to publicly wade into such a politically sensitive issue would normally have meant swift career death, but Maassen's direct boss - Interior Minister Horst Seehofer - initially backed the spy chief.

The partners in Merkel's ruling coalition are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss Maassen's future.

In a short statement following three-way talks Tuesday between Merkel, Seehofer and the head of the Social Democrats, the government said Maassen will be moved to a new job within the Interior Ministry and will be replaced at the spy agency. "Mr Maassen will not be in charge for supervising the BfV at the ministry".

The deal allows each of the three parties to claim it got what it wanted.

Leftist lawmakers have accused Seehofer of undermining the credibility of the BfV agency by refusing to fire Maassen.

Head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz) Hans-Georg Maassen attends a reception of Germany's safety authority in Berlin, Germany, September 11, 2018.

In office since 2012, Maassen has also been criticized for alleged improper contacts with members of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, which he denies.

"That he has in practice been promoted and that the SPD supports this, is a farce", fumed Dietmar Bartsch, the parliamentary head of the far-left Die Linke.

Days after the unrest, Maassen questioned the authenticity of amateur video footage showing street violence and voiced doubt that racists had "hunted down" foreigners - comments that directly contradicted Merkel, who had deplored the xenophobic attacks and "hatred in the streets". She said they "very clearly revealed hate" which could not be tolerated.

The far-right attacks in Chemnitz, which caused revulsion in Germany, were triggered by the fatal stabbing of a man over which police are holding a Syrian suspect and searching for an Iraqi man.

A German court on Tuesday released an Iraqi asylum seeker detained since last month in the case, his lawyer and a prosecutor said.

The Maassen row has exposed deep divisions in German society over Merkel's 2015 decision to open the country's borders to refugees fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere.

That decision has also been blamed for fuelling the rise of the AfD, which became the largest opposition party after an election a year ago that weakened both Merkel's conservatives and the SPD.

Related News:

  • Sean McDermott hasn't talked to Vontae Davis

    Sean McDermott hasn't talked to Vontae Davis

    Buffalo were trailing 28-6 at half-time, although they partially recovered - sans Davis - to earn a more respectable 31-20 defeat. Davis was a noticeable absentee after half-time and it was later confirmed he told his team-mates he was retiring.
    Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson's Emmys 2018 Absence Explained

    Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson's Emmys 2018 Absence Explained

    This news comes 10 days after Ariana Grande's ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller died of a suspected overdose. Her team told People's that Ariana is busy focusing on her well being and energy.
    Defending Champions France Into Davis Cup Final

    Defending Champions France Into Davis Cup Final

    Croatia have made the final twice, in 2005, when they were crowned champions, and 2016. France's Benoit Paire reacts during his match against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.
  • Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

    Sharifs' jail sentences suspended in corruption case, to be released

    Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Athar Minallah were the IHC bench members who summoned that hearing. The court also fined Nawaz Sharif and Maryam 8 million and 2 million Pounds respectively.
    Don't blame Neymar, PSG players all guilty - Thiago Silva

    Don't blame Neymar, PSG players all guilty - Thiago Silva

    PSG threw numbers forward in search of an equaliser but the likes of Neymar and Mbappe were struggling to carve out chances. PSG, like Liverpool, went into the game having taken maximum points from all five of their league games this season.
    Netflix comes to Sky Q boxes in November

    Netflix comes to Sky Q boxes in November

    Sky and Netflix shows sits side-by-side on Sky Q's content rails, some of which are tailored around the viewer's usage history. This content is adaptive to which Netflix profile is selected and also to any parental locks that have been placed on it.
  • Ford wants her Kavanaugh claim investigated before hearing

    Ford wants her Kavanaugh claim investigated before hearing

    But Democrats also said Tuesday they were planning to attend the hearing even if Ford did not show up. Christine Blasey Ford eminently credible, honest and believable". "We still haven't heard from Dr.
    Surgeon seen on Bravo reality show, girlfriend allegedly drugged, sexually assaulted women

    Surgeon seen on Bravo reality show, girlfriend allegedly drugged, sexually assaulted women

    The couple gave her multiple drugs then raped and orally copulated her, the district attorney's office said in a press release. They brought her to Robicheaux's apartment and began "sexually assaulting her with the intent to commit rape", officials said.
    Kavanaugh accuser comes forward as Democrats seek to block SCOTUS nomination

    Kavanaugh accuser comes forward as Democrats seek to block SCOTUS nomination

    Grassley said he intends to work with the senior Democrat on the committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein , to schedule the calls. A lawyer for Ford said Monday she is willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the Post .
  • Brice Butler says he’s back with the Cowboys

    Brice Butler says he’s back with the Cowboys

    Bryant has quickly become a supporter of his former team from a distance, even cheering on his former teammates on social media. Washington was the 80th overall selection in 2016, a draft which saw 12 Ohio State players get selected.
    President Trump to visit Carolinas in hurricane’s aftermath

    President Trump to visit Carolinas in hurricane’s aftermath

    While rain was finally subsiding on Tuesday, the city of Wilmington remained largely cut off with thousands of people stranded. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said it was unclear if the bridge was threatened. "We don't know.
    Disinfectant use could increase risk of childhood obesity

    Disinfectant use could increase risk of childhood obesity

    Samples from 757 infants were profiled and analyzed along with BMI data at older ages and parental use of disinfectant products. Infants raised in households where eco-friendly cleaning products were used were not overweight or obese at the age of three.


Most liked

Tesla-rivaling electric Audi E-Tron SUV debuts at $75,795
The e-tron will seat five, have two motors, and feature an all-wheel-drive configuration in its standard trim, according to Audi . Drivers of the e-tron will be able to get an 80 percent charge in about a half hour at public high-speed charging stations.

North Korea's Kim agrees to 'dismantle' key missile test sites
Over the years, the North's propaganda toward the South has mostly focused on ridiculing it as an "American running dog". His remarks in Pyongyang represented the first time he had made such a commitment verbally before an worldwide audience.

Stormy Daniels Compares Trump's Penis to Toad From Mario Kart
In the memoir, Daniels also reveals that Trump manipulated his show, The Apprentice , to help the adult film star cheat. She writes that Trump said to her, "We'll figure out a way to get you the challenges beforehand..."

Arteta tips City to conquer Champions League
Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta reckons his clubs multi-talented squad is the best in World Football. I'll be on the touchline and I'll try to make the right decisions and for the rest, nothing will change.

Tom Brady Would ‘Divorce’ Bill Belichick If He Could
Gordon's barely been active for years, unable to build on his breakout 2013 campaign and battling years of substance abuse. "Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob".

Barcelona 4-0 PSV Eindhoven
Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic came off the bench to grab a late victor in a 1-0 victory at Club Brugge. Dembele would double the hosts' lead in the 74th minute, scoring on a brilliant individual play .

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales and Gwent PS4 Release Dates Revealed
CD Projekt Red has tonight announced Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales which is a brand new game set in the world of The Witcher . Gwent will support cross-play between PS4 and PC as well as Xbox One and PC, but not between PS4 and Xbox One.

How to upgrade to the iPhone XS
As a result, Kuo predicted the XS Max will account for roughly 25 to 30 percent of new iPhone shipments this year. That's certainly the conclusion from the first spray of iPhone Xs reviews today, anyway.

Betty White Flirts With Alec Baldwin In Surprise Emmy Awards Appearance
She continued, 'Thank Lorne Michaels for doing not only this tonight but all the wonderful things he's done with me.no, for me'. She then began working in radio on different programs before getting her own appropriately titled The Betty White Show.

Red Sox-Yankees starting time switched to 7:05 pm
Hurt when hit by a pitch, Judge was activated Friday and played two innings in right field that night without going to the plate. Aaron Judge is returning to the New York Yankees' starting lineup for the first time since breaking his right wrist on July 26.

Border Patrol Agent Accused Of Killing Four Women
Mr Alaniz said investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the killings, and that they believe Ortiz acted alone. Texas Rangers and investigators with the sheriff's department went to Ortiz's home and searched it, but Ortiz was not home.

Texas superintendent apologizes for racist remarks toward Deshaun Watson
Redden had posted the comment in reference to a play in which Watson held the ball as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Nine games into his career (eight starts), the quarterback has completed 61 percent of his pass attempts.

Google 'sorry' for remotely enabling Battery Saver on Android Pie handsets
Reddit users in multiple threads began reporting that their battery saver feature was randomly turned on without their doing. I know Google is able to check/read and know my settings but why they can change my settings.

Google Maps finally works with CarPlay
With the release of iOS 12 yesterday, Google Maps is the first third-party navigation app to release an update to support CarPlay. While there are other options out there, the obvious go-to destination app for many people is going to be Google Maps.

Real star Bale was 'angry' over Liverpool final snub
The Welshman has admitted that he is upset about the fact that he started on the bench. Instead, Ronaldo's goal against Juventus in the quarter final got the nod.